Brief - The Hustle

Digits: A viral boating app, virtual influencers, and more

Written by Jacob Cohen | Jan 30, 2023 8:46:37 AM

1) Skinamarink, a Canadian analog horror film, has grossed $1.8m+ at the box office despite a production budget of just $15k. The plot: “Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished.”

2) The Columbus Washboard Co., America’s last, now sells ~11k washboards annually, down from millions in the 1940s. Apparently, sales jumped 57% in 2020 during peak pandemic mayhem, and percussionists make up 40% of sales.

3) This neat visual report argues we should focus our solar efforts on the roofs of big-box retailers, of which there are ~21.4k in the Western US. If solar panels were installed on their rooftops, they’d generate 31m+ megawatt-hours of energy output — enough to power 3m homes.

4) On Jan. 14, Megan Foulk shared her 62-year-old dad Jeff’s boating app on TikTok in a bid to attract downloads. The clip blew up, garnering ~24.4m views, and the app, Argo Navigation, has since topped the app store.

5) One of the hottest areas of metaverse content in development is that of virtual influencers, ~70% of whom are Korean. Tech firms there are pouring resources into things like virtual K-pop bands.